Experimental study on operating temperature in laser-assisted milling of silicon nitride ceramics

  • Xinwei ShenEmail author
  • Shuting Lei


Operating temperature plays a significant role in laser-assisted milling (LAMill) of silicon nitride ceramics. Understanding the features of temperature variation can improve the performance of LAMill. Based on the analysis of operating temperature, this paper aims to provide guidelines on parameter selection for LAMill from three aspects: laser–silicon nitride interaction mechanism, effect of parameters on temperature, and evaluation of surface quality of the machined workpieces. First, the laser–silicon nitride interaction mechanism is explored via heating experiments. It is found that the formation of silica bubbles at the thin top layer of the workpiece can slightly increase the temperature of silicon nitride workpieces due to the heat energy released from the oxidation process. Then, the trends of temperature variations in LAMill are obtained through a parametric study. The key parameters such as laser power, laser beam diameter, feed rate, and preheat time are highlighted. At last, the surface quality of the machined workpieces under different operating temperatures is evaluated in terms of edge chipping, surface finish, and surface residual stress. It is shown that high operating temperature leads to low cutting force, good surface finish, small edge chipping, and low residual stress. In addition, the temperature range for brittle-to-ductile transition should be avoided since the cutting force decreases slowly due to the rapid increase of fracture toughness.


Laser-assisted milling (LAMill) Silicon nitride ceramics Operating temperature Silica bubble Laser–silicon nitride interaction mechanism Brittle-to-ductile transition 


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© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems EngineeringKansas State UniversityManhattanUSA
  2. 2.ManhattanUSA

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